Jr. World Boxing Champion Nikhat Zareen Shares Success Story
A young, enthusiastic girl is chasing her dreams. Ready to reach the pinnacle of success, she is conquering one obstacle after another. Whether it’s the threat of a career-threatening injury or the fight against preferential treatment, she’s showing resilience beyond her age. We are talking about none other than the talented boxer Nikhat Zareen, who is making us proud with her stellar performances in the tournament after tournament.
It is perplexing for a young girl to take up a sport where the ring is dominated by men. Also, this young girl is a native of Nizamabad, belonging to a traditional community. Having the natural talent along with the required stamina, guts, right timing, and impact has given deserved applause to Nikhat Zareen. Winning gold at a ‘teenager of 15 after fighting all odds of society is not easy. Nikhat always wanted to do something different than conventions. Having the qualities of both an attacker & defender, she is inspired by Mary Kom and Mohammed Ali. Making her family & India proud, the boxer has secured medals at various tournaments. She has been an inspiration for many young girls from Telangana to learn and pursue boxing. Presently she is aspiring for Gold at the 2020 Olympics. Of course, she still has a long way to go and we can’t wait to see her make headline in international tournaments.
We are keen to know, how did your journey begin?
I started as an athlete with 100-200 meter races. I was accompanied by my father to training fields and he used to check my times during training sprints. He was the one who introduced me to boxing after I questioned him as to why there wasn’t any women boxer in the Urban Games in 2009. He answered jokingly that women do not have the required strength for boxing. This ignited the spark in me to enter the ring and prove this mentality wrong.
What has been your success mantra?
I believe that working hard each day brings the destined rewards for real success.
What were the hardships & hurdles you encountered and how did you overcome them?
A lot of obstacles came my way. Since my family and community were conservative, there was resistance initially. My father was always by my side like a defense mechanism. He helped me fight unsporting suggestions and fortified me to work hard.
Do you think Boxing and its learnings can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Sport has the capability of imparting life’s important lessons. Boxing per se teaches you no matter how hard you are hit by the opponent; you have to be on your feet in the next round! It is sometimes you who gets punched and there would be times when your opponent.
Who has been your influencer in your journey so far?
My father has been my guide and support; right from Day one when I decided to wear the gloves and step into the ring. My family too stayed by my side. I have received incredible sustenance from JSW sports, which have taken me under their wing and are providing me with all the requisites and support.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
Standing on the podium after winning Gold at the junior world championship and listening to our National Anthem being played, I apprehended the triumph for my country and felt very special.
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
I have been trained with boys and that has been a real encounter. They have never gone easy on me and always gave a tough bout. Positively, this aided me become robust throughout my initial years of training. Here, I express gratitude to my coaches, who have trained and guided me for what I have achieved till this day.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Boxing?
To succeed in any activity, there has to be a systematic approach. Boxing too falls along those lines. Scientific attitude in sports is needed to answer ‘how, when & what’, to give your best. There are different regimes that I follow depending on whether it is off-season, closer to competition, or recovering from competition.